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Italian govt prepares to take over Ilva steel mill

MILAN (AP) -- Italy's industry minister says the government is preparing an emergency decree to temporarily take over Europe's largest steel mill, which is beset by environmental and corruption scandals.

Flavio Zanonato said Tuesday that it had become clear that the cleanup of the plant cannot be conducted by those responsible for the environmental emergency. The plant has been linked to elevated incidence of cancer in the area and the owners are being investigated for misuse of company funds.

Zanonato told Parliament that the Ilva plant needed to be safeguarded from closure, which could cost the economy 8 billion euros ($10 billion).

An emergency Cabinet meeting is scheduled for this afternoon.

The emergency measures foresee suspending the current management and appointing a temporary administrator.